Why Girls Are More Vulnerable to Maltreatment

Women suffer depression and anxiety disorders at higher rates than men; a new study finds an interesting new explanation for this.  Unwholesome family life can alter development of threat-detection circuits in the brain of young girls, which persist into adulthood and predispose women to developing mood and anxiety disorders as adolescents and young adults.  Boys are also negatively impacted by family stresses during childhood, but the lasting effects on their brain were seen in only one of two neural circuits controlling our response to threats, anxiety and fear.

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Posted in Addiction, Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Caregivers, Childhood, Childhood Disorders, Educators, Mood, Neural Network Function, Neuroeducation, Pregnancy and Parenting, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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Memory and Aging, a live webcast with Eric Kandel, Elias Pavlopoulos and Scott Small

There will be an interesting webcast on memory and aging on Nov. 6, at 12:30-1 pm PST time. Don’t miss it! Continue reading

Posted in Across the Lifespan, Aging, Authors, Brain Basics, Brain Development, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Degenerative Disorders, Diseases & Disorders, Learning and Memory, Psychiatric Disorders, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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To Kill a Crying Baby

Squeezing her hand over the toddler’s nose and mouth she smothered him to death because he would not stop crying.  Last Monday 22-year-old Jessica Fraraccio pleaded guilty in court to felony murder of 23-month-old Elijah Nealey in the summer of 2012.  No one in their right mind could conceive of committing such a horrible act, but babies are tragically killed or left severely brain damaged by shaken baby syndrome inflicted by a parent, family member, or caretaker frustrated by a child’s incessant crying. Dismissing those with depraved minds, how can we comprehend such sad stories as this one in the Washington Post?

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Posted in by Douglas Fields, Caregivers, Childhood, Childhood Disorders, Educators, Mood, Neural Network Function, Pregnancy and Parenting, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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Neuroscience

                I was stopped at a red light.  Through my rear view mirror I saw the car speeding toward me.  The driver was looking down operating a cell phone in his lap.  I considered putting my car in park because the rapid acceleration in a crash is what damages, but I did not want to limit my options.  As the car barreled toward me at full speed I applied my brakes hard with both feet and braced for impact.  Continue reading

Posted in by Douglas Fields, Degenerative Disorders, Diseases & Disorders, Neuroanatomy, Psychiatric Disorders, Uncategorized
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On Boylston Street

The last time I was on Boylston Street it was to give a lecture in November at a scientific meeting in the Weston Hotel.  Today, Sunday, I’m looking out onto an empty street, barricaded.  An eerie modern-day ghost town festooned with yellow police tape rippling in the cold Boston wind.  Continue reading

Posted in Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Childhood, Childhood Disorders, In Society, Neuroethics, Neurolaw, Psychiatric Disorders, Senses and Perception, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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The nucleus accumbens

Brain stimulation restores normal activity in obsessive-compulsive disorder

A new study published in Nature Neuroscience by a large group of researchers from The Netherlands has identified the modifications of brain activities of patients as they were receiving treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)1. OCD is an anxiety disorder in which patients adopt repetitive behaviors such as hoarding, washing, or cleaning to address excessive worries or fears. Continue reading

Posted in Across the Lifespan, Authors, Brain Basics, by Jean-Francois Gariepy, Diseases & Disorders, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety
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